Abortion law in Northern Ireland "breaches human rights" 4 years ago

Abortion law in Northern Ireland "breaches human rights"

Abortion is a topical issue that is getting a lot of attention both south and north of the border.

Today it was ruled that abortion legislation in Northern Ireland is in breach of human rights law.

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission had taken a case against the Department of Justice, calling for access to legal terminations in cases of incest, rape and fatal foetal abnormality.

Belfast High Court heard this morning that the law may now, due to the ruling, be relaxed to account for the aforementioned circumstances.

Judge Mr Justice Mark Horner said: "In the circumstances, given this issue is unlikely to be grasped by the legislature in the foreseeable future, and the entitlement of citizens of Northern Ireland to have their Convention rights protected by the courts, I conclude that the Article Eight rights of women in Northern Ireland who are pregnant with fatal foetal abnormalities or who are pregnant as a result of sexual crime are breached by the impugned provisions."

Unlike in the rest of the UK, the 1967 Abortion Act does not apply in Northern Ireland. Those who perform illegal terminations face being jailed for life.